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HOI4 Dev Diary - Officer Corps

Greetings all, Arheo here!

For my first HoI dev diary, I’m here to introduce the Officer Corps: a collection of new features that will be included as part of No Step Back and the Barbarossa update.

For quite a while, we’ve wanted to allow for more direct specialization of military branches, as well as tying together various disparate systems such as the high command, generals, military-focused national spirits, and doctrines. To achieve step one of this process, we’re giving the Officer Corps and associated mechanics a unique national interface:
pasted image 0.png


(WIP, as usual)

Here, the empty advisor portraits at the top of the window are where you can now find your High Command and Military Theorist, and the advisor portraits below this are related to each branch Chief - they have been moved out of the political sub-window accordingly.

As well as UI location, there are further changes coming to all military advisors. Where previously, the theorist was the only advisor type that granted daily experience gain, all high command and branch chief will now generate experience appropriate to the branch they represent.

pasted image 0 (3).png


The Advisor rank (e.g. Expert) indicates both the magnitude of their modifier bonus, and the daily experience you will receive.

We’re also experimenting with a split political/command power costs to gate the experience ramp-up somewhat, along with some other minor changes to command power.

Behind the scenes, we’ve made a host of changes to the advisor, spirits, and commander systems. Where previously, if we wanted to create a national spirit related to having a certain character in your government, it would be entirely unrelated to having an advisor with the same name, masquerading as the same person - likewise for commanders and advisors masquerading as the same person. This has changed. These are (for the most part) now controlled by ‘characters’. This has pretty sweeping connotations for our internal content designers, as well as modders, but importantly also allows us to bring the following new system to the No Step Back release:

Advisor Promotion

The introduction of a more connected Officer Corps felt like the perfect time to bring more of a connection to the Generals and Field Marshals that oversee your active forces, and the various military offices that advise your government.

In No Step Back, Generals, Admirals or Field Marshals can be assigned an advisory desk duty in addition to their status as a field commander. This will effectively add the character as a new advisor to your roster.

The type of advisor available to you is dependent on the skill level and traits of the commander you’re ‘promoting’ (not everyone likes desk duty ;) ), as you can see in the highly WIP interface below:

pasted image 0 (1).png



Here, Herr Hell can be converted to an Entrenchment specialist as he possesses the Engineer trait, and has skill level 5. Currently, both Military High Command and branch Chief roles are available.

Experience

Experience generation in general has been weighted and balanced in order to achieve a more gradual switch from peacetime generation (a strong cadre of advisors, and unit training), through to wartime. Experience generation from combat and battles has been reduced fairly significantly to account for this, as well as capped (separately from other sources). Overall, experience generation will be consistently higher than in previous versions - this was done both to mitigate the introduction of the tank designer (and thereby increased costs), and to account for the other new ways in which you are now able to spend experience, which we shall cover below.

The eagle-eyed amongst you noticed in a previous diary that the doctrine branches had been removed from the technology window - they can now be accessed from the officer corps interface, and will function somewhat differently to before. Doctrines will be unlocked directly by spending branch experience, which can still be affected by instanced cost modifiers often found in focus trees and events.

pasted image 0 (2).png


(There have been no major structural changes to doctrine layouts)

There are, in addition to the above, several new and exciting things that branch experience will be used for in NSB, some of which are handily teased in the first screenshot of this diary. Alas, we will be covering what those are and how they might affect your gameplay in a future DD.

/Arheo
 
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Try giving a bear a mountain of paperwork and let me know how it goes.

It has gone great, all the paperwork is now gone and nobody has complained.
 
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Dojo704

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I gotta say it Jamor,

I like your on point evaluation of different war topics, ranging from weapons to tactics :D

Have a nice day :)
 
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BeauNiddle

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On another note though, is there any planned update to the fuel system? While I like the mechanic, and it currently feels very underrated. In fact when playing as almost any major country, you can nearly entire ignore your fuel usage and production levels by maxing out your storage and synthetic refineries. In all my playthroughs, I've only once started to seriously risk running low on fuel and that was when I was providing the allies with 99% of my fuel production. Even then, I fought the entire war keeping 1% of my fuel produced and didn't run out. Granted by the time Germany, Italy and Japan had surrendered I was at less than 3 days worth of fuel, but I could have easily just stopped my fuel lend-lease to the allies and not had any problems. As it is even with 6 groups of 5 armies of 40width divisions+ special forces + garrison armies I can safely ignore my fuel usage so long as I have some production being kept in country.

So you invested massive amounts of research and production into synthetics & storage and thus managed to solve a major issue ... that's a GOOD thing. If there was no solution to fuel usage the game would be bad.

Now work out how many military factories you gave up on to do all that & how many, more advanced, equipment production you could do if you hadn't spent all those resources on fuel.

I play as the UK mostly - I will run out of fuel every game because when those big ships put out to sea they drain your reserves immensely. My preferred solution is to trade for oil on the market but that depends on who your possible trading partners can be and how much of a fight the enemy navies put up.


Unless you were playing one of the major oil producers (e.g. USA) I find that account unlikely unless you smothered your lands in synths.
 
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leviathan_13

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It seems that promoting officers to advisors will make them gain modifiers based on their level and the traits they have. I wonder, then, are there new unique modfiers for promoted advisors that can be only obtained from having a specific trait that no other standard advisor currently has?
 

Atlantians

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That is surely true, and I mention it all the time in connection with all warfare since the 19th century. There are other doctrines further down the tree that simulate this reality as well. I was referring to the notion that casualties alone do not generally force an enemy to cede ground nor produce victory. America learned this in Vietnam, among other places. Fire combined with shock, and offensive maneuver putting you astride the enemy's lines of communication, though...
The Vietnam example is actually rather ill-timed as more recent revelations from the Communist Vietnamese has revealed that the North Vietnamese were on the verge of surrender and total collapse due to their overwhelming casualties alone.

However, unaware of the extremely desperate state of the North Vietnamese military, the US instead bartered for a peace treaty in 1973, at the Paris Peace Accords, effectively winning the war in what was essentially a 'white peace' or truce.

The US Withdrew, and a year later cut off all meaningful support from South Vietnam.
At that time, the somewhat recovered North Vietnamese broke the treaty and swept over South Vietnam uncontested, as the South Vietnamese Military did not have equipment or funding without US support.
 
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KingStevenofEarth

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So you invested massive amounts of research and production into synthetics & storage and thus managed to solve a major issue ... that's a GOOD thing. If there was no solution to fuel usage the game would be bad.

Now work out how many military factories you gave up on to do all that & how many, more advanced, equipment production you could do if you hadn't spent all those resources on fuel.

I play as the UK mostly - I will run out of fuel every game because when those big ships put out to sea they drain your reserves immensely. My preferred solution is to trade for oil on the market but that depends on who your possible trading partners can be and how much of a fight the enemy navies put up.


Unless you were playing one of the major oil producers (e.g. USA) I find that account unlikely unless you smothered your lands in synths.
Actually I didn't. I always make it a point to focus primarily on industry when playing as the U.S. or Russia until around 1939, and then a focus on infantry advancements as well as aircraft. And each state can only hold a max of 3 refineries and 3 fuel silos. So yes, I max those out first, and then focus on building my civilian factories up along with enough shipyards to support a decently large navy followed by converting my civilian factories into military factories at the start of '41, unless I've been drawn into the war somehow sooner. When playing as Germany I do the same thing except with a greater focus on military factories from the beginning. I've spent more than a decade of my life with History being a subject that I'm deeply interested in. And history is filled with warfare. I've also spent a long time as a soldier, and my mind for strategy being one of the biggest reasons I've risen through the ranks so quickly.

My point there being that I've sufficiently studied enough warfare to come up with the most effective strategies. I tend to have a preference for encirclement which is why I have so many armies. I can assign three or four to drive through enemy territory in medium sized swaths effectively cutting off their supplies and then can use another two or three armies to slowly crush the encircled enemy while the original three or four hold the line to prevent a rescue. The AI such as it is, is not sufficiently skilled enough to prevent this tactic. It was used to great effect and with usually positive results for thousands of years in some form or another. Especially before the invention of planes, this tactic all but guaranteed a victory and was a favorite of Empires like Rome. They grew as quickly as they did because a number of their commanders preferred to all but completely ignore the enemy within the middle and focus on cutting them off. It's part of the reason that the Romans had so much trouble in Britain actually.

Sorry, got a little off topic. I typically play each game differently in regards to my warfare strategy. A good commander will take days or even months to effectively plan out a strategy and I'm known for spending at least an hour before ever unpausing the game when planning a major offensive. It's fun and it's a challenge creating a new ways to conquer the world. Point being though, that fuel usage should be increased. No reason I should have 2000 planes assigned to each army fielding roughly between 20-40 million men by the end of the game, and still not have to worry about my fuel usage. Even with the technology maxed out it should play a bigger part of my campaign strategy. The Germans had major fuel problems which prevented their invasion of Britain, and aided the allies in pushing them back as the Germans couldn't fuel their massive amounts of panzer divisions and air force. Supply should also be the same well because historically and even in todays militaries, a focus is always given on the capture of major ports and cities to serve as supply points which this update looks to accomplish fairly well.
 

Volkskaiser

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Jokes aside this is a really nice update. I'd actually been musing about how cool it would be to have an "officer pool" system in game, and buffs associated with having a larger and more experienced officer pool, but I figured it would never actually be implemented because of how big of a change it would make. In WWII the size and quality of a nation's officer pool was something that made a significant difference to a nations military performance, compare the performance of German and American units to Italian and Soviet ones, two nations had invested a lot into their officer schools and two hadn't. This is such a major advancement to the game it more than makes up for how long we went without any updates or news of updates for HOI4, honestly it will almost feel like we've been given a new game. Sounds like it will also make up for the fact that now you have to rely on your limited political power way too much as a major nation, whilst never having to rely on command power or military experience except under very specific circumstances.
 

Hoi Neuling

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:D Yeah, that´s an very cool and big Upgrade for the Game I have missed. For most of that I have to use Mods in all previous Versions before.

Can´t wait to play it with the full refits, reworks and other cool new Features the Devs have done with the biggest Base-Game-Refit for Patch 1.11 (and that Refit is very nessecarry)!
 

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What about those that historically did both simultaneously, such as Marshal Mannerheim? Granted he conducted the war together with his right-hand man, General Airo, who was in charge of operational matters, but he also led the whole war effort and set its aims together with the President, while also "keeping court" at his headquarters in Mikkeli. In essence he had the job of Supreme Commander, Theatre Commander and a kind of "co-leader" of Finland all at once during WW2. He's also the only person in the history of independent Finland to attain the rank of marshal; having someone else be field marshal for the Finns would not be plausible.

I suppose his high command role could be replaced by someone else (General Airo would be a logical choice), which would allow him to remain field marshal without penalty. There should probably also be a national spirit for him to represent his political weight, but that's likely something for the eventual Nordic DLC.

This is a good point, the system doesn't sound as flexible with this in mind.
 

Axe99

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Cheers for the DD Arheo - a great first HoI4 DD - and thanks for the extra info Podcat :cool: Am a big fan of the new 'staff' positions - much more immersive and interesting for vanilla HoI4, and opens the way for some very cool modding stuff (ie, people moving through the ranks during the game as other people retire or die off, or just because experience in action means they're better people for the job) - note while I expect this will only be a modding thing, do not take this statement as in any way discouraging introducing this into the vanilla game.

On the name of the Army/Naval/Air Forces High Commands - can these be tag-specifically localised? It would be very cool flavour if, where available, it would be possible to have "The Admiralty" (UK), "Supermarina" (Italy) and so on. Would be happy to help with names for the naval high commands at the very least.

his has changed. These are (for the most part) now controlled by ‘characters’. This has pretty sweeping connotations for our internal content designers, as well as modders, but importantly also allows us to bring the following new system to the No Step Back release:

Advisor Promotion

Super-duper cool - love it :)

What do you dislike about the new format?

One thing that gets me every time is I try and quote and it won't let me until I click "show dev posts", and it shows the first post as a regular post instead of an article. If it was possible to quote from the article, it'd be cool, but at least for me sooner or later I'll remember to click "show dev posts" straight up. One day!

enabling will be, but of course it takes time to accumulate the XP needed for doing the changes

Is there any cooldown to limit how fast someone can get the new doctrines? To avoid things like building up a 500 XP bank, say (and they limit on XP may change - that could be another way to address it) and then being able to suddenly spend it on a super-tank or half a doctrine tree. Just a thought that you may well have already covered off, or a silly thought (or mentioned earlier in the thread).

Currently the latter. This is subject to change.

I'd strongly suggest, as long as the art/localisation/research budget can take it (and if you need help with admiral research, just say the word) having them one or the other, rather than both - or at the very least, make it possible to mod it this way. At least for naval positions, there were staff jobs and fleet commands, and they were clearly distinct things (and the choice as to who was in which role was often an interesting trade-off - so making it either/or increases the number of potentially interesting decisions for players). That said, as with anything I ramble on about, please ignore if not helpful :)

For a naval pic for this week, it has to be an admiral, but which one? Well, they'd have to be in the game, have a great beard, and to have won a VC in WW1. He served in WW2 afloat both in the European and Pacific theatres, having both victories (Second Battle of Narvik) and defeats (Battle of Savo Island - although while it was his force, he wasn't in command during the actual battle), having under his command over the course of the way at leat British, US and Australian units. But really, it's all about the beard :)

1623927959919.png
 
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Bullfrog

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Very nifty. I like the staff officers/advisors feature quite a lot.

It'd seem to be a good time to add more commanders to many nations in order for the minors and some minor majors to take advantage of the new capability.

While we're at it, a simple army-corps mechanic to allow for creating and quick selecting groups within armies for detailed battleplans or for merely editing a plan after its been made would be good; a pool of real off map corps officers (gaining comat exp), that could be promoted to General and given a portrait (rather than random names), seems like a lot extra, but a potential next step. Accurate ranks at GC start...the promotion game was taken from HoI IV and I miss it. Then the officer grind mini game would be complete.
 
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GrandVezir

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Eh. I don't think so. I think they will be adding the tank tech to the arrty tech. Research 1939 arty and grt 1939 guns and such. Like when you resesrch the AA you get the naval alongside it. But we will have to wait and see how they do it but hopefully this frees up for naval.
Until naval equipment becomes more important to gameplay, any freed tech slots will be allocated to the things that are.
 

HugsAndSnuggles

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I just hope this transition is properly balanced: Japan with its lack of fuel (thus naval XP) comes to mind.
 
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GrandVezir

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I just hope this transition is properly balanced: Japan with its lack of fuel (thus naval XP) comes to mind.
Neither Japan nor anyone else in the world should be lacking fuel, so long as the USA maintains free trade and undisturbed isolation.
 
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GSP Jr

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I love the update to the officer corps, the addition of air force generals (obviously) has been needed for a long time (um, day 2 after release?).
Many of us have been pleading for more emphasis on commanders & advisors since release, can't wait to see the finished set up.
On the other hand, pretty much scraps, invalidates, or otherwise guts about 4 mods I maintain.

Any sort of heads up with modding in mind would be a great help (@shultays) - although I get it - things may not be completed and you can't give it away until after release.
 
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Nikita1221

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Even with modern weapons, indirect fire in the most prodigious quantities rarely annihilates a determined, entrenched defender, nor can it reliably compel him to abandon his position without a subsequent assault. Its chief effect is disruptive, impeding the enemy's effective fire and movement so your own troops from the close combat arms can close with and destroy him. The doctrine represents how friendly infantry and other frontline units have an easier time overcoming defenders when covered by a hail of supporting fires.
Shouldn't it give breakthrough to artillery then? You know, stuff that actually decreases effectiveness of enemy fire. It would also mean that no-artillery templates won't get any bonuses. Which they shouldn't.
 
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TalyonUngol

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Until naval equipment becomes more important to gameplay, any freed tech slots will be allocated to the things that are.

I consider them important so the extra slot will be naval. I dont min max as much as others who abuse the system.
 

Jackarim

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Very cool dev diary! I'm excited about how the new system looks and will play out.

I do have one question though?
Will you still be able to only decide between 4 main predetermined doctrine paths and have to choose everything inside that path?
Wouldn't it be much cooler if you could build your own doctrine overtime for the needs to have or the things you will do in the future similar to a skill tree?
Every nation can have its own distinct doctrine that formulates there needs.
Some traits could be made mutually exclusive still and some doctrines could give very good specific buffs but at the same time give you debuffs in other areas.
With this kind of system, you would have much more depth in how you want to build your country up and I think it could be a great addition.


Just food for thought. I hope it can help :)
 

Handmatch33

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Greetings all, Arheo here!

For my first HoI dev diary, I’m here to introduce the Officer Corps: a collection of new features that will be included as part of No Step Back and the Barbarossa update.

For quite a while, we’ve wanted to allow for more direct specialization of military branches, as well as tying together various disparate systems such as the high command, generals, military-focused national spirits, and doctrines. To achieve step one of this process, we’re giving the Officer Corps and associated mechanics a unique national interface:
View attachment 732206

(WIP, as usual)

Here, the empty advisor portraits at the top of the window are where you can now find your High Command and Military Theorist, and the advisor portraits below this are related to each branch Chief - they have been moved out of the political sub-window accordingly.

As well as UI location, there are further changes coming to all military advisors. Where previously, the theorist was the only advisor type that granted daily experience gain, all high command and branch chief will now generate experience appropriate to the branch they represent.

View attachment 732207

The Advisor rank (e.g. Expert) indicates both the magnitude of their modifier bonus, and the daily experience you will receive.

We’re also experimenting with a split political/command power costs to gate the experience ramp-up somewhat, along with some other minor changes to command power.

Behind the scenes, we’ve made a host of changes to the advisor, spirits, and commander systems. Where previously, if we wanted to create a national spirit related to having a certain character in your government, it would be entirely unrelated to having an advisor with the same name, masquerading as the same person - likewise for commanders and advisors masquerading as the same person. This has changed. These are (for the most part) now controlled by ‘characters’. This has pretty sweeping connotations for our internal content designers, as well as modders, but importantly also allows us to bring the following new system to the No Step Back release:

Advisor Promotion

The introduction of a more connected Officer Corps felt like the perfect time to bring more of a connection to the Generals and Field Marshals that oversee your active forces, and the various military offices that advise your government.

In No Step Back, Generals, Admirals or Field Marshals can be assigned an advisory desk duty in addition to their status as a field commander. This will effectively add the character as a new advisor to your roster.

The type of advisor available to you is dependent on the skill level and traits of the commander you’re ‘promoting’ (not everyone likes desk duty ;) ), as you can see in the highly WIP interface below:

View attachment 732208


Here, Herr Hell can be converted to an Entrenchment specialist as he possesses the Engineer trait, and has skill level 5. Currently, both Military High Command and branch Chief roles are available.

Experience

Experience generation in general has been weighted and balanced in order to achieve a more gradual switch from peacetime generation (a strong cadre of advisors, and unit training), through to wartime. Experience generation from combat and battles has been reduced fairly significantly to account for this, as well as capped (separately from other sources). Overall, experience generation will be consistently higher than in previous versions - this was done both to mitigate the introduction of the tank designer (and thereby increased costs), and to account for the other new ways in which you are now able to spend experience, which we shall cover below.

The eagle-eyed amongst you noticed in a previous diary that the doctrine branches had been removed from the technology window - they can now be accessed from the officer corps interface, and will function somewhat differently to before. Doctrines will be unlocked directly by spending branch experience, which can still be affected by instanced cost modifiers often found in focus trees and events.

View attachment 732211

(There have been no major structural changes to doctrine layouts)

There are, in addition to the above, several new and exciting things that branch experience will be used for in NSB, some of which are handily teased in the first screenshot of this diary. Alas, we will be covering what those are and how they might affect your gameplay in a future DD.

/Arheo
Will Nikolai Gagen be a general in the Soviet DLC?